I cringe anytime I see “water” as a recipe ingredient. Why? Because it’s such a lost opportunity to add flavor. You could substitute stock, acids, booze, whatever, and you’d have such a more dynamic dish.
So naturally, when it came to boiling water for pasta, I was not a happy camper – besides salting the water, there just wasn’t enough flavor.
The solution? Tomato Water. A spin on a trick I picked up in my days overseas.
All you need to do is whisk in about 3 tablespoons of tomato paste per 5 quarts of water while it’s heating up.
Starch clings to the concentrated tomato flavor, gets reabsorbed into the pasta as it cooks, and guess what happens? You have noodles all smacked up!
You’ll never boil pasta any other way. Seriously.